New fascinating data from MediaRadar shows that the 15 second pre-roll now outpaces 30 second ads, and that an overwhelming 95% of online videos now start automatically when a user lands on the page.
In October 2013, MediaRadar said 33% of ads were 15-seconds long; that’s up to 43% now. Last October, 86.4% of ads started automatically. Now, auto-start is up to 94.6%.
What of the 30-second spot? Now, they represent 33% of all ads, just as did last October. That’s some modest indication that, possibly, advertisers are now creating shorter ads just for online use, as a lot of marketers seem to universally suggest.
And if you’re not on YouTube, the chances you can skip a 15-second ad are dwindling to almost nothing; fewer than 1% can be skipped, though about 10% of 30 second ads still offer that option. Not many sites offer skip buttons at all, and MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman notes, a lot of those are news sites.
Krizelman says that increasingly, advertisers are adamantly refusing that skip function, arguing there’s no reason online users’ avoidance options should be any different than they are in any other area. “They think it should be as close to TV as possible,” he says. “The mute button is also going away.”
I'll miss my old buddies.
A major trend that doesn’t exactly show up in the report as a trend, per se, is that Media Radar is noticing the “hybridization” of ad units. Many sites are now packaging online video ad with another ad unit for the same brand or other material, like ad “skins” or page takeovers. This might be good for the advertiser; it’s also defensively smart for the Website.
“The benefit is that while online video is increasingly available through programmatic buying--driving down CPMs--those pairings are not available,” Krizelman explains. “They offer advertisers full-brand immersion in exchange for a presumably higher CPM."
Surprising--to me anyway--is that MediaRadar says each month, anywhere from 20%-24% of online videos are “paired” that way. That percentage has stayed pretty constant, but Krizelman says, the art of it has improved. Those hybrids are more compelling to view. Click here for an example.
MediaRadar, which delivers analysis on over two million brands on its own cloud-based tool, spotted 2,707 brands advertising on on 125 sites (excluding YouTube) from January 2014 through August. Sports and news sites attracted the most advertisers, with sports sites attracting 855 different brands and news sites getting 813.
That sports led was not especially surprising but what was, Krizelman says, is that men’s sites got only about half as many brand placements as the sports site, even though, he says, men’s sites probably had a better audience profile--younger, richer, more male--than the sports sites. That’s the value of marketing, he says. Those brands, like ESPN, know how to sell their sites.
More than 350 different media brands advertised online between January and-August 2014, mostly for movies and TV shows. Surprising to Krizelman was that the finance industry, with over 250 brands represented, was second, with more brands represented than apparel, food and beauty brands.